Google US is in the US. Google UK is in the UK and follows local law with no regard for US law. And so on and so forth ad infinitum. You are right, of course, to apply US law in the US. My point with this post is just that you should not assume that the law you state above will be the case everywhere, merely because Google has its HQ in the US.
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2. Reach a ruling that is in contradiction to the law as written. Being the Supreme Court this is not really a appealing option so the path of least resistance were chosen. Screw over a bunch of cocky nerds by not granting their appeal.
The Supreme Court cannot 'reach a ruling in contradiction with the law'. While courts can interprate the law, they cannot operate outside of it or even create law. That is for Parliament to do. The Courts job is to apply the law.
Here's my translation of the letter they sent them. Anything in 's are my own additions.
Participation in copyright infringement
The Rights Alliance represent among others Noble Entertainment, Nordic Film and SF [Swedish Film], companies which hold the copyright to many Swedish movies that without permission are made available to the public through the Pirate Bay. The Pirate Party and Serious Tubes provide internet access to the Pirate Bay.
In February 2012 the Supreme Court decided to not allow an appeal in the so called Pirate Bay case. Through that decision it was established that not only those who administrate an illegal file sharing service but also those that provide internet access to such an illegal service make themselves guilty of a crime. Despite the fact that the Court has made this clear you continue to do so [provide the internet access]. Since all legal avenues have been exhausted, the only thing left for us to do is request that you cease providing internet access to the Pirate Bay
Through this letter you are formally informed that infringement of rights that are protected by copy right law are occurring through the Pirate Bay and that you participate in these infringements by providing internet access to the Pirate Bay.
Copyright law provides that an injunction can be imposed on those that participate in copyright infringement, fines being the consequence of non-compliance. Liability for damages for any harm caused is also established. These rules apply to among others juridical persons [companies], including non-profit/charitable organisations like the Pirate Bay and Serious Tubes, their board of directors and other associates.
According to copy right law, participating in copyright infringement is extensive. Four people have been handed prison terms and significant damages for participation in copyright infringement for, inter alia [among other things], participation in the running of and the supply of broadband internet/internet access to the Pirate Bay. Furthermore, Svea Hovratt [the Court of Appeal, inferior only to the Supreme Court] have forbidden two companies with threats of fines of 500000 SEK (US$ 80000; £52000) from in the first case supplying internet access to Pirate Bay and in the second case from providing internet access to a tracker that was used for illegal file sharing (Svea Hovratt Case No. Ö 7131-09, Case No. Ö 8873-09 and Case No. Ö 10146-09. Furthermore, Stockholm District Court established by judgment of the 16th of October 2012 the injunctions established by Svea Hovratt in Svea Hovratt Case No’s Ö 7131-09 and 8873-09 (Stockholm District Court Case No. T 7540-09 and Case No. T 11712-09.
With this as a background the copyright holders that we represent request that the Pirate Party and Serious Tubes immediately cease supplying internet access to the Pirate Bay. If notification of having done so has not been received by latest the 26th of February 2013 the Rights Alliance will pursue legal action against you without further communications.
If you would like more information you are welcome to contact us.
The Rights Alliance.
They're using scare tactics. They are referring to cases and trying to make it look like those cases have established that what they are doing is illegal by analogy, but I seriously doubt any Court would entertain that notion and I would expect that they would try any case fully on its merits. I think that becomes even more apparent when they threaten to go after the board of directors personally and threaten that they can be held liable for damages for the copyright infringement in personam [out of their own pockets].
Thank you for this robust answer - I was just gearing up to write something similar when I came upon your retort.
As a Swede and a University of London LL.B. finalist, having followed this discussion for some time now, I have seriously questioned why people seem to think that Sweden would be more likely than the UK (a United States war ally) to extradite to the US. It is an absurd assumption.
There are areas of the law where there is presumed consent. They are 'desirable' activities so to speak. These include sports (particularly contact sports), the fact that you may get jostled on the underground in the morning on your way to work, etc.
Well, kind of. The actors wouldn't be off the hook if they did something that the photographers and other present would be liable for since you cannot consent to sex akin to BDSM (you cannot consent to bodily harm that isn't desirable ie contact sports/surgery): R v Brown (the Spanner Case): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R_v_Brown (this was a 1993 case in which homosexual men consentually engaged in BDSM were all sentenced).
In law school the above case is taught alongside (well it was at mine anyway) a 1996 case (after R v Brown), R v Wilson, in which a man used an iron poke to brand his wifes ass. The act was considered to be akin to tattoo and consent was a defence. The man was not held liable because it could not be established that this was 'undesirable' activity, and contrasted to R v Brown where in fact none of the men were 'hurt' per se. In R v Slingsby (1995) a man who fisted his wife whilst wearing a ring tore her vagina and she developed a blood infection and eventually died. Because this sexual act gave 'pleasure' and was consentual this was held to be a defence. (???)
There is a terrible discrepency in how the law is applied to heterosexual couples and how it is applied to homosexuals engaged in seemingly LESS culpable acts. There were demonstrations at Russell Square in London in the 90s when these cases were coming about.
Wish I had mod points to mod you up. What is going on in this country?!
Only the larger ISPs are blocking it, it seems.
The ISP I currently use (AAISP) are certainly not blocking it (see http://revk.www.me.uk/2012/05/blocking-pirate-bay.html for a blog entry oin the subject from one of the ISP's senior people), and no doubt many of the smaller ISPs are not either.
The reason for this is that it would have been too costly and time-consuming to bring an action against every last ISP in the UK. It sufficed to go after the six main ones because they hold 94% of the UK internet users, which I assume they felt was 'good enough'.
From the first line of the judgement:
Dramatico Entertainment Ltd v British Sky Broadcasting Ltd  EWHC 268 (Ch)
1 The claimants are record companies claiming on their own behalf and in a representative capacity on behalf of the other members of BPI (British Recorded Music Industry) Ltd (“BPI”) and Phonographic Performance Ltd (“PPL”). The Defendants are the six main retail internet service providers (“ISPs”). Between them they have a fixed line market share of some 94 per cent of UK internet users. By this claim the claimants seek an injunction against the defendants pursuant to s.97A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (“the 1988 Act”), which implements art.8(3) of European Parliament and Council Directive 2001/29/EC of 22 May 2001 on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society (“the Information Societ
"Sites like The Pirate Bay destroy jobs in the UK and undermine investment in new British artists," the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) said.
The ISPs had previously stated that they would not block the site unless there was a court order mandating it. Now that this has been delivered, they have agreed to the ruling, as indeed they must."
Link to Original Source
Rick Deckard will be relieved to discover that people seem to have forgotten that his sheep wasn't real!
I'm English and most of my fellow countrymen are quite happy for Scotland to be independent. Think it would do both countries a lot of good to be honest.
Either full independence, or atleast lets introduce a federal system here. The current system where Westminster has devolved powers to the Scottish Parliament (and the Welsh Assembly and the NI Assembly) is unmanageable for several reasons.
I think the most important one must be that Westminster can at will take back all of those powers (and has! Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1978 and then again in 1991. I think they only got back to full devolution in May of 2007). Another is the Westlothian question where there has become an assymetry of polities due to the assymetrical nature of the UK devolution. English MPs cannot vote in the Scottish Parliament on matters regarding Scotland (which makes perfect sense), but Welsh, Irish and Scottish MPs can vote on matters which affect only England in Westminster. Since creating an English Parliament would be overly costly (and where are we going to get a new cohort of politicians, and how will we mobilise an already lack-lustre voting population to vote in yet another election?), I think writing a constitution and creating a federal system somewhere along the lines of the American system would be a good idea. And introduce a constitutional court perhaps! And start a serious investigation into the problems facing us for a future codification of laws.
I'm not an IP lawyer, but I think this judgment makes sense.
To use an analogy, they cannot be any more guilty than the post-office is when somebody posts scheduled substances in the mail.
Legally (and again this isn't my area), usually when a third party (like the post office, or an ISP) transports something, for the duration of time that they are in possession they are 'merely custodians' or bailiffs. They have no responsibility themselves for the contents.
It would also be, as the BBC article points out, terribly unjust to impose upon them such liability when their only recourse is to terminate the contract with the end user. Courts like business (almost as much as they like consumers). They wouldn't uphold that and certainly wouldn't set such precedent.
I don't know about the US, but not in the UK. I would assume not in the US.
On the other hand, if you and I were to talk about visiting those sites, that would be conspiracy, and that would be a crime!
It's a funny one.
Last week we had an American guy come in and give us a two hour lecture on the topic of Tort. I was surprised when he said that in the US you don't have a tutorial system (true?).
The way undergraduate uni is taught here (UK) is that you get issued about 2-3 hours of reading for the lecture, and then you attend it. Then you get issued more reading + questions and a week later you meet in your allocated tutorial group (10-15 students + lecturer/someone from the dept that is in charge of taking the tutorials for that course) for an hour and discuss the questions. So there are essentially three stages to it. I think it works quite well. I have found that particularly having done reading before the lecture makes you able to take in a lot more since you already have an idea of what is going on, and then the tutorials solidify the material and gives you a deeper understanding. Another pro is that I really don't take very much notes during the lectures since a) i already have notes from my readings, so i just scribble additions to those where necessary and b) i'll have to write more notes for the tutorial, so its more helpful to have paid attention in the lecture than to have tried to take notes furiously for two hours.
I think that the main point of his argument was not to offend anyone but to establish the defenses to copyright infringement, as evidence by his concluding statement: "It is a complete defense in the US though, to prove you never saw the original.". There will be a legal test to determine whether or not you are guilty and never having seen it accomplishes that, hence a complete defense.